International Max Planck Research School in Chemical and Molecular Biology
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Prof. Dr. Stefan Westermann

Current Position: W3 Professor of Molecular Genetics, Center for Medical Biotechnology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
2006-2015: (Group Leader) Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria
2002-2006: (Postdoc) with David Drubin and Georjana Barnes, University of California, Berkeley, USA
1998-2002: (PhD) with Klaus Weber at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany

Research Interest
My laboratory is trying to understand how the duplicated genome is passed accurately from one cell generation to the next. We are following two main questions:

1. How are kinetochores constructed to allow accurate chromosome segregation? We are performing a detailed functional analysis and biochemical reconstitution of the budding yeast kinetochore.

2. How are microtubules organized and regulated to move chromosomes? We are investigating molecular motors and other microtubule-associated proteins in order to understand how they function, how they are regulated and how they organize microtubules. 

In-vitro reconstitution and biochemical analysis of proteins and multi-protein complexes.
Yeast genetics and cell biological analysis of chromosome segregation in-vivo.
Advanced imaging techniques, such as total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and reconstituted assays for dynamic microtubule growth.

Selected Reading
Mieck C, Molodtsov M, Drzewicka K, van der Vaart B, Litos G, Schmauss G, Vaziri A and Westermann S. Non-catalytic motor domains enable processive movement and functional diversification of the kinesin Kar3, eLife 2015, 4.doi:10.7554/eLife.04489.

Hornung P, Troc P, Malvezzi F, Maier M, Demianova Z, Zimniak T, Litos G, Lampert F, Schleiffer A, Brunner M, Mechtler K, Herzog F, Marlovits TC and Westermann S. A cooperative mechanism drives budding yeast kinetochore assembly downstream of CENP-A. JCB 2014, 206(4), 509–524.

Malvezzi F, Litos G, Schleiffer A, Heuck A, Clausen T and Westermann S. A structural basis for kinetochore recruitment of the Ndc80 complex via two distinct centromere receptors, EMBO J 2013, 32(3):409-23.

Lampert F, Mieck C, Alushin G, Nogales E and Westermann S. Molecular requirements for the formation of a kinetochore-microtubule interface by Dam1 and Ndc80 complexes, JCB 2013, 200(1):21-30.

Schleiffer A, Maier M, Litos G, Hornung P, Mechtler K and Westermann S. CENP-T proteins are conserved centromere receptors of the Ndc80 complex, Nat Cell Biol 2012, 14, 604-613.

Zimniak T, Fitz V, Zhou H, Lampert F, Opravil S, Mechtler K, Stolt-Bergner P and Westermann S. Spatio-temporal regulation of Ipl1/Aurora activity by direct Cdk1 phoshorylation, Curr Biol 2012, 22(9):787-793

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